Start-Up Moxie: Building Teenage Entrepreneurs

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Start-Up Moxie: Building Teenage Entrepreneurs

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Saint Joseph County’s Startup Moxie is a local program for junior and senior high school students to learn about business and entrepreneurship opportunities. The transformative program fully immerses students in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. At a basis for the program, Startup Moxie asks the question “How might we. . .?” to inspire new approaches to challenges experienced everyday. Participants are encouraged to utilize tools provided, such as getting the opportunity to hear from local leaders about business ventures and different perspectives on the South Bend Elkhart region, to build their learning. Startup Moxie practices creation, experimentation, and reflection to help develop entrepreneurial thinking.

The program embraces learning and building from failure to make an impact on the community. They believe that everyone should strive for excellence while giving trust and taking ownership of their work. Respect is a priority for participants as they join together with personal perspectives and personalities to accomplish their goals. The organization is proud to currently be the only program of its kind in the region to give students the opportunity to experience real entrepreneurship.

As of now, there are three John Adams students participating in Riseup Moxie, including Grace Wilson, a senior here at Adams. She began Startup Moxie her senior year as a precursor for her future college plans of majoring in business at Ball State University. Wilson shares that one of her favorite things about the program is that “it doesn’t feel like a classroom,” which is great for students like Wilson who don’t always do well in a classroom setting. “This class has taught me that I might not be the greatest at school, but I am very talented in different ways.” Wilson’s favorite opportunity taken through the program has been interviewing a local employer, which taught Grace that it is important to have “communication skills, customer service skills, and life skills in general,” because schools don’t prepare students enough for practical, everyday skills like communication. Through the program Wilson grew confident and “learned to look at everything through a different perspective,” and “how to run [her] own business and run it well.”

Students participating in Startup Moxie have class on Monday through Friday from

7:30 to 9:00 a.m. Completing the program gives high school credit and college credit through Ivy Tech. During the program, students are given the opportunity to tour 20-30 local businesses and hear from 40-50 local guest speakers. Currently in Startup Moxie there are 7 represented schools, including John Adams and other South Bend schools, and 35 participating students. If any student is interested in joining Startup Moxie in the future, visit https://moxieinthemaking.org/program/ for more information.